A new program delivered by WEST (Workplace Essential Skills Training) Centre in Steinbach, will help prepare people for a job or future career in manufacturing.
Called LIFT (Local Initiative for Transition to Work), the program is funded by Steinbach’s WEST Centre, Manitoba Economic Development and Training, Employment and Income Assistance and four manufacturing and production companies.
Diane Stadnyk, Workplace Education Manitoba regional coordinator for Southeast Manitoba, said the program has taken place three times elsewhere in the province including twice in Portage and once in northern Manitoba.
"This program initially started through discussions with local manufacturers, just seeing what we could do for the industry in Manitoba," she said.
Discussions began close to two years ago, and Stadnyk said they were told by local manufacturers that there’s an ongoing need for new employees who are a good fit.
Loewen Windows, Exceldor (Blumenort poultry processing plant), Berger (peat moss processing) and Moon Shadow Holsteins, (Manitoba’s largest dairy operation) are the four business partners in the program.
The program will offer specific training to meet the requirements of manufacturing and production positions within Southeast Manitoba.
Stadnyk said the goal is not just getting people entry-level positions.
"This is a foot in the door where you can actually build a career in the manufacturing industry," she said. "We’re not looking at it as, here’s an entry-level position and stay there for the rest of your life. Here’s an opportunity for you to enter into the manufacturing industry which is alive and well in Manitoba."
The program has limited capacity and applicants will be pre-screened by a selection committee.
Stadnyk said program participants must be legally entitled to work in Canada and must meet a Canadian language benchmark of at least 5. Past experience in manufacturing is an asset.
"Everyone will need to go through an essential skills assessment before the selection committee chooses who is going to be in the program," she said.
Other requirements include the ability to perform physical tasks such as lifting and standing for long periods of time, and the flexibility to work shift work.
"We’re certainly looking for people who would be the right fit for a manufacturing position," she said.
There is no fee to participate in the program and interested individuals are asked to forward a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to Jan. 11.
Stadnyk said she’s excited about the program, and said it’s important to the industry which is made up of more than 1,300 businesses employing over 42,000 workers.
"If employers are saying, hey we need workers, we actually have a program now that can make sure those workers have the essential skills necessary to be successful in the jobs that they’re doing," she said.